There are a lot of reasons why you might be looking for ways to induce labor naturally. Natural inductions methods work best when you are over due, or close to your natural birthing time.
I know for me, when my second son was just about to hit his due date the midwives started becoming antsy about his arrival.
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As his due date was approaching and then passed, they would bring up scheduling an induction at every appointment.
I was adamant that I didn’t need or want an induction at that point.
I was planning on having a natural labor and delivery and I knew once I was in labor I needed to be focused on relaxing and everything else I had done to prepare for a natural birth . I didn’t want to be focused on what they were doing to induce me and if it was working or not.
I was comfortable in my decision to wait for labor to begin naturally, but I was willing to try natural methods to go into labor on my own.
While we are given this due date, it is more of a guess than a hard and fast rule on when your baby will arrive.
It is perfectly normal for your little one to make their arrival anytime between approximately two weeks before your due date up to around two weeks after your due date.
Even though we want our baby here in our arms as quickly as possible, we need to let our baby grow inside of us as long as possible. Although, there are medical situations where having your baby born is safer than keeping him/her inside of you.
Please know that none of this is medical advice and make sure to check with your doctor or midwife before trying to induce your baby.
Also, one thing to remember is that these may not work for you if your body isn’t ready to go into labor.
6 Effective ways to naturally induce labor
I know at the end of your pregnancy, sexy is probably the last thing you are feeling. Yet, as my favorite midwife says: sometimes the best way to get baby out is to do what got baby in in the first place.
Sex is one of the most popular natural ways to try and induce labor.
Many women have found success using this method as the semen comes with a hormone-like compound called “Prostaglandins” that helps in ripening your cervix.
2 Eat these Foods to Induce Labor
Do you know that eating certain foods can also help in the natural induction of labor?
Some women swear by eating spicy food to get labor contractions started.
Dates, pineapple and other foods can also help to induce labor naturally due to some chemicals that they contain.
The reason why spicy food can be successful is that it give your intestines an irritated feeling that will in turn make your uterus contract. Even though there’s no scientific evidence to prove this theory, there is no harm in using your favorite hot sauce before going into the delivery room.
Studies also indicate that eating dates during the last few weeks of your pregnancy helps the cervical dilation process and makes your labor go quicker. The Moms I’ve talked to who have had success with eating dates say you need to eat a lot of them (one mom ate 6 dates/day) in order for it to work.
It is also said that tropical fruits like pineapple comes with a substance called bromelain that can help in stimulating the uterus. Although, some think that it could be that eating large amounts of pineapple cause your intestines to be stimulated which starts labor. Either way, eating pineapple might be worth a shot.
3 Nipple Stimulation
Nipple stimulation is another popular natural way to induce labor. It can also be useful if your labor has stalled or slowed down.
You can ask your partner or you can do it yourself to gently massage your nipples.
Make sure to go for a rhythmic massage around the nipples (including the areola) as it induces the release of oxytocin that helps in stimulating the contractions and also strengthens the labor contractions during your delivery.
Another way is to heat a towel in the dryer for a couple of minutes and place it on your breasts to induce the release of oxytocin.
If manual stimulation doesn’t work, you can also try using your breast pump.
4 Evening Primrose Oil
Evening Primrose oil is extracted from the seeds of the flowers of plants generally found in the plains of North America. And the oil is naturally used for the treatment of bruises, wounds, acne issues, eczema, minimizing breast pain and many other issues.
Evening primrose oil won’t necessarily “induce” you, but it plays a great role in softening your cervix and increasing dilation.
You can take Evening Primrose oil vaginally or orally.
If you choose to use it vaginally, when you insert the pill, you want to make sure to push the pill as far up as you can. You are trying to get it as close to your cervix as possible. Inserting this before going to bed is a great time.
5 Adjusting Baby’s Position
Sometimes your baby isn’t in the right position for labor to begin naturally.
If you suspect this could be the case, check out www.spinningbabies.com. They have many different exercises you can try to get your baby in a better position for birth.
6 Alternative Therapies for Natural Labor Induction
There are many alternative therapies that can be great at kick-starting labor.
Acupuncture was the alternative therapy of choice at my midwife’s office. Acupuncture has been used for centuries to induce women who are overdue.
Acupuncture, is an age-old practice that involves inserting thin needles into certain areas of your body. These areas are called pressure points and if the needle is inserted in the correct point, it can help in stimulating the uterus and bringing on labor.
Acupuncture has a high success rate of putting a woman into labor, but sometimes a second visit is needed.
Acupressure is another popular form of treatment that involves using your fingers to stimulate the pressure points in the body. When pressure is applied to the right spots that are linked to your uterus, it gets stimulated and labor can start.
Seeing your chiropractor for an adjustment is not something that you might think of when trying to come up with ways to induce labor, but it turns out seeing your chiropractor might just be the thing your body needs.
There are chiropractors who specialize in adjusting pregnant women by using the Webster Technique. This technique can move your baby into a better position for labor.
While these are all these methods of inducing labor naturally, most likely they will fail if your body isn’t ready to go into labor yet.
Sometimes your baby and body need more time, you have waited 9 months for this moment, can you wait a few more days?
If you are trying to avoid a hospital induction, these natural ways of inducing labor might be worth a shot.